Brick Leaf House

Jonathan Woolf Architects, London, 2002


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East house from the slope before the heathland starts. The glass panel in the terrace is a rooflight to the pool 

Matthew Weinreb (website)     Download Original

  • East house from the slope before the heathland starts. The glass panel in the terrace is a rooflight to the pool    
  • Steeply sloping entrance approach with near-solid north face    
  • West house, developing a more intimate garden    
  • The underground pool    
  • Basement plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section     
  • Sketch    

Connected pair of houses designed for a pair of brothers and their families

Both houses begin with a top-lit, double-height entrance and are at the centre of the terrace, the ground slopes up toward the entrance of the east house, making this the shallowest space on its ground floor; room floors then step down the hill.

For the west house the slope continues on up past the entrance, and so the entrance is the tallest space, the room floors stepping up.

Internal surfaces are plain plaster with flash gap detailing, white downstairs, with Pietra Serena stone floors. The upstairs is relatively narrow with enclosed staircases kept bright by the skylighting. These two houses have a narrow internal connecting passage between the entrances, off which is the stair down to the 15 x 4m basement pool.

Low-ceilinged towards the pool edge, the concrete-walled volume is sky-lit at either end. The pool was cast within 9m sheet piling, creating an anchor for the house’s ground slab with trench footings, avoiding piling for the steel-framed structure, the ability to create long spans, to refine the layout at a late stage and to make changes in future years. While perimeter walls are of cavity brickwork, internal partitions are, flexibly, of steel stud and plasterboard.


  • Begun: May 2001
  • Completed: Jul 2002
  • Floor area: 1,000m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £2.3M
  • Tender date: Nov 2000
  • Procurement: JCT 98 Single Stage
  • Address: North End Avenue, Hampstead Heath, London, NW3 7HP, United Kingdom

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